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#1Jove Augustus 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:21 am

Jove Augustus
It was rapid fire. The images before him were going through like a reel of film, and though he felt a part of it, Jove was more a witness than an active participant.

The forest shot by him. Bushes and trees mingled, a thick canopy overhead hinted by the densely packed undergrowth. Noises in the distance, the smell of fresh blood. He felt a mixture of foreboding and anticipation, and to be honest, a splash of excitement. He pushed through the bushes, and then in a flash found himself sat upon a bed. He saw a blur of orange before him, for just a moment, then stood from the bed and stood in the center of the street.

Beside him was a form, humanoid, but he couldn't tell much more than that. Even the blobs gender was unknown, but he knew that it had become night time. The moon hung high overhead, its fullness illuminating the streets below in a silver light. Words were exchanged between himself and the blob, but they were still a conglomerate of muffled words and reverberation. The two walked down the street, turned the corner, then stood somewhere new.

It was a home, he thought. It felt like home if nothing else. The building was certainly not what it once was, at least he hoped. Certainly this had to be a deteriorated state, and not what someone built by intent.

He felt high off the ground, and before him again was the blob. He could make out a color now. It was as though the once colorless form had taken in the glow of the moon. The sounds it made were less muffled, and by the tone he could tell it a woman. She spoke, but not to him. The orange from before, shorter in stature than himself or the blob, stood in a way that looked like his hands were on his hips. As the blob turned its attention to him, he saw it slowly start to crumble into dust.

He felt panicked. His heart was racing as he saw the crumbling away of the formless shape, being pulled through the air like the sands of time on wind. He rushed forward, yet the faster he ran the more it felt like the distance grew. He couldn't close the gap, and the rest of the world around him began crumbling into the same dust. The white glow, the home, the memories. All were gone, like dust in the wind.

Suddenly he stopped and felt it. A suffocating presence, something foreign, invading his mind. He felt as if he were trapped in a cave, as if a foreign presence were assaulting his mind. He felt himself crumbling, falling into the same wind. He closed his eyes, and a sort of peace enveloped him. A peace in memories that didn't make themselves clear now, but were as much a part of him as his DNA. He felt like he could relax into it. He could go, knowing he had lived his story. He felt the peace like a white light, a beautiful white with just a splash of red.

"You found me."


His eyes shot open, his body immediately spiking to a ninety degree angle in bed. The light covers fell from his body, revealing a chest and stomach devoid of scars but rippled through consistent effort. His chest heaved, and a cold sweat dripped from the tip of his nose and onto the bed. His face swung around, ensuring that his surroundings were still there in tangible form, before closing his eyes. He took a couple of deep breaths, one after the other, to steady his nerves.

Then, he fell back onto the bed with his arms out wide.

His eyes were open, tired and emotionless, as his mouth closed and his breathing went back to normal. He looked up at the ceiling, a blank expression on his face. The images he had only just seen had already started their descent into obscurity. Raising a single hand to his face, he brushed his hair from his forehead and pressed his palm to his hairline, holding the strands away from his eyes.

He lay there, motionless, for just a few moments before deciding he wouldn't be going back to sleep. Standing and glancing at the clock, he saw that it wasn't yet late. Ten at night, on the dot.

He stood from the bed and walked himself to the shower, turning on the sink and splashing his face with cold water. Using a dry cloth, he slowly patted away the sweat that had accumulated from his dream, then got dressed. He was casual, by his standards. A pair of khakis, black shoes that looked suitable for work but missing any sort of laces, and a button up blue shirt that he took up to the third to last button. It exposed just below his collar bone, up to his neck.

Stepping out into the cold night air, and locking his motel room behind him, he began walking down the street and rolling his sleeves up.

He didn't have to go long before he found himself at the only pub within a few blocks, the Swineherd. He didn't hesitate, pushing the door open and making his way through the sparsely filled room and finding a seat right at the bar, all the way at the end on the right side.

Despite the lack of business, the bartender took his time. A few minutes passed before he finally made his way to Jove, taking his order for a glass of whisky on the rocks. As the owner of the establishment stepped away, Jove found peace in the fact that the dream had all but slipped from his mind. He remembered the mix of emotions he'd felt throughout seeing it, but the details of it had already crumbled away at the base, leaving only emotion and intent behind.

"What was that." His words came out quietly, directed only to himself, as the glass was pushed before him and the bartender gave him a questioning look. He didn't stick around though, going back to his job. No doubt he was use to seeing strangers in a city like Oak, especially when he owned such a famous establishment, but something about Jove seemed to make him weary. Perhaps the old man could sniff out Rune Knights.

Taking a sip from his drink, and feeling the maple aged liquid cool his throat, he placed it down and let out a content sigh that came after drinking ice cold alcohol. He just needed to take his mind off of whatever it was that had just happened in his subconscious.

#2Nuala 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm

Nuala

The grass felt soft beneath her lithe frame and cozily tugged into the meadow, Nuala’s lashes fluttered when a warm breeze sent a singular leaf towards her. With quiet amusement she watched it land at the tip of her nose until another gust of wind carried it away. The thief was drowsy from her nap and still drugged with sleep, she turned sideways and closed her eyes again. Her mortal body felt so heavy. “Again,” she whispered and slowly sat up. Strands of dark hair fell into her pale face and even though her Voidling marks had long faded, the bright purple colour of her eyes remained.

Nuala had fallen asleep by the woods again.

Her stomach groaned and the woman realised with no small amount of irritation that she was starved for food. Nuala had lost weight in the previous months and her usually strong frame was more delicate now than ever. She had lost a lot of her prowess too, but the thief didn’t want to think about that – at least not for another while. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and slowly stood up. Nuala had been dreaming a lot lately, ever since she’d become human again. It was nonsense mostly and she didn’t think too deeply about it.

When Nuala reached for her cloak on the ground, she noticed something from the corner of her eye. There, just a few feet from where she had been sleeping, a stark white flower bloomed beautifully under the moon. The woman blinked, realizing that even though she’d never seen a flower bloom at night before, it seemed strangely...familiar. Not knowing why her heart had begun aching at its sight, she turned around and left.

The Swineherd Pub was Nuala’s best chance at finding something to eat during this hour of the night, as most of the inns and restaurants had already closed down. It was by no means a fancy place, but perhaps that was just what the ragged looking woman needed. Nuala wore her usual thief-y attire: black clothes, knee-high boots and a cloak that covered her slender frame, but did little to hide the weariness in her features. Her hair had grown long and uneven and she kept it in a loose, low ponytail.

At her hip sat a sole, lonely dagger.

“You look hungry,” said the bartender, who had approached in the meantime and now eyed Nuala with a knowing look. The girl only nodded and gratefully threw a few coins onto the counter when he poured her a jug of mead. Her small hands quickly wrapped around the wooden pitcher and she greedily took a few sips before wiping her mouth. It hadn’t tasted good when she was still Voidling, but now it had become strangely bearable. Like everything, really.

A few minutes later he brought her some beef stew. “Thank you,” she said quietly and began digging into the meal. She had been starved for food in every sense of the word, but not on purpose. Nuala simply forgot to eat on a regular basis after not needing to for almost six decades. The thief didn’t pay attention to her surroundings or the other people inside the bar. She no longer read every room that she entered and didn’t bother seating herself somewhere by a window to secure an easy escape route.

Nuala didn’t pay attention to the man sitting down next to her until he reached for the dagger at her side. Slowly turning her head towards him, a piece of beef still in her mouth, the woman furrowed her brows and leaned away from him.

“Can..can you not?”



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#3Jove Augustus 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:47 am

Jove Augustus
Jove hadn't been paying attention to the new arrival, instead staring intently at the amber liquid swirling around the glass. The clinking sound of the ice within acted as a distraction from the world around him. It wasn't as if he was intentionally trying to block out his surroundings. Rather, he had gone alone to drink and was doing his best to enjoy his alone time. It wasn't often that the Rune Knight was able to stick to the work schedule he had set for himself. Often he had to work extra hours, due in part to the firm assertion that a Knight was always on the clock. It was a policy he himself hated, and intended to continue to file grievances about.

Yet aside from that thought of the ridiculous working working arrangement and never ending hours, without opportunity for overtime pay, he stuck around. It wasn't as though he thought himself a hero, nor anything else so self important. He wasn't so conceited to believe he was anything other than a man. Yet still, the woman who had come in finally caught his attention when he heard her voice raise. She no longer addressed the barkeep. Someone else had drawn her attention, and judging by the concerned and irritated tone, her ire.

Glancing over to see her pulling away in her seat from the man who sat beside her, his hand still outreached toward her waist, Jove slowly placed his glass back upon the countertop. A deep sigh, somewhere from within his gut, escaped.

"Would you mind not causing problems?" His voice was deep, a natural rumble to his words that seemed contradictory to his rather mundane appearance. The would-be thief snapped his gaze over to Jove, eyes dancing between the man at the end of the bar and the woman beside him who he'd thought would be an easy target. In an instance of fight or flight, it seemed as if he liked his odds.

"What's it to ya? You a Rune Knight or some shit?"

His voice held a sense of vitriol in an attempt to come across intimidating. "Yes, and I'm trying to be off the clock." His response was to the point. Rather than a sense of confidence or challenge in his tone, Jove sounded bored and borderline annoyed. The man glanced to the girl, then back to the knight. His mouth opened and closed, as if looking for words, then finally settled under his breath. "...Seriously?"

He glanced to the bartender, who nodded and shrugged. It seemed that he had a hunch ever since the blond male arrived, and all it took was his confirmation for the failed criminal to stand and scowl. Despite his bravado and tough exterior he left the bar without making a further scene. Whether it be the presence of the knight, the failed attempt at whatever he had been up to, or the unwillingness to cause a problem in the esteemed pub, he found his way to the exit without much more of a problem.

Perhaps this was the point in which the Rune Knight was suppose to say something. To follow up with the woman who had just been at the center of this tiny exchange, to ensure her safety and well being. However, he hadn't been lying when he said he was off the clock and wanted to stay that way. Rather than say anything to her, he sipped again at his whisky which had now started running low.

Instead of needing to order more, the bartender was now much more vigilant. He came over, eyeing Jove with suspicion, but slid another glass in front of him. Nodding his thanks, the businessman finished his nearly empty glass and wrapped his hand around the new drink as the ruminants of the old were ushered away. Like that, it seemed silence could once again fall upon them.

#4Nuala 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:20 am

Nuala

Nuala’s lips parted, but when someone else raised their voice first, the former Voidling quickly shut her mouth and chewed down the last bits of her meal. She didn’t expect anyone to step up for her, but at the same time she wasn’t surprised when the blonde revealed his profession. Nuala wanted to almost roll her eyes – she’s had enough of knights and captains for a lifetime after all. Still, Nuala was grateful that the situation had resolved itself and the man bothering her decided to leave the bar.

Before he departed however, the woman turned to look over her shoulder and shot him a final, menancing glance. She might be human now, but the threat she posed didn’t disappear and neither had the icy cold that always seemed to surround her. Only the darkness of the void had somehow dissolved, but it didn’t strip away any of Nuala’s natural edge and gloominess.

She glanced at the bartender, who looked back and forth between her and the knight, shrugged and then offered him a drink on the house. Nuala didn’t say anything at first, mostly because of how annoyed he’d seemed by the entire situation, but she eventually felt a sense of guilt and after taking a long sip from her jug of mead, the thief awkwardly turned her head towards the man and gestured around helplessly.

“Uh,” she started and looked back at the bartender for support, who gave her a quick nod of approval before turning away to do the dishes. “Thanks.” The trouble maker had since disappeared from the Swineherd Pub. “I mean, I could have handled it myself – not that I’m trying to sound ungrateful or anything,” the words came out with difficulty and once Nuala thought she’d made her point, she turned her face away abruptly and continued to pick around in her now almost empty bowl.

The bartender peeked around the corner from the kitchen and shook his head at her in disappointment. Irritated by this, Nuala mouthed the words “what” and “whatever” at him before rolling her eyes and uttering a sigh.

“Right, and next round’s on me I guess.”



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#5Jove Augustus 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:41 am

Jove Augustus
The girl gave a verbal pause, her hesitation coming across as discomfort. It mattered not whether Jove himself was making her uncomfortable, or if she was simply not use to socializing. He had come here in order to have a couple of drinks, and had intended to do so alone in the first place. So, rather than pursue a conversation, he sat back in his chair and lifted his second glass of whiskey to his lips. He felt the warmth envelop his chest as he swallowed it down, and the taste of the aged beverage fill his mouth. Letting out a content sigh, he placed the glass back to the table as she actually spoke up once more.

She thanked him, and Jove simply glanced at her and raised his glass in a sort of pseudo cheers. She continued on about how she hadn't technically needed his help, but appreciated the thought behind his actions. It seemed she simply wanted him to understand that she was capable, and that she hadn't been reliant on outside help. "I understand. I don't think either of us wanted to deal with the situation."

In truth, he'd spoken up for selfish reasons. He wasn't acting in the pretense of being a Rune Knight. Had he not been directly asked he'd have never mentioned it in the first place. He had come here in order to relax, not to work. Sadly, relaxation was partially dependent on the silencing of the man who was threatening to disrupt the atmosphere. He had spoken for his own convenience, not her protection. At least, that's how he'd explain it if she pushed the issue.

As she offered him a reward, he hesitated. This wasn't shown through his actions. He didn't freeze in position, or demonstrate a physical stutter. He found himself mildly caught off guard, sure, but he gave no physical expression that would hint at that. "I appreciate that." Rather than have someone feel indebted, better to accept the drinks and conversation so that everyone could leave feeling like equals.

With that intent in mind, Jove realized that he couldn't just allow silence to dominate the space between them. She was now offering him a drink, and seemed to want to demonstrate a level of equality between them. The knight then put his drink down and glanced at her.

Looking at her for the first time, he realized she didn't fit the normal clientele of the Swineherd. She had long purple hair and amethyst eyes, for one, which were unique traits in their own right. She was also indisputably beautiful, well beyond that of the average customer. He didn't linger, glancing at her for only a second or two before speaking. "So what brings you to the Pub? I assumed I'd be one of the only ones waking up around this time of night."

#6Nuala 

Threads of Fate (Private) Empty Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:04 am

Nuala

“Right,” said Nuala and quietly swallowed the last bites of her dinner. The woman suppressed the urge to snort at the awkward air between them – clearly neither the knight nor the thief were good at holding conversation. The bartender returned with a glass of whiskey for Nuala and she thanked him with a nod before pushing back a thick strand of her purple hair. He halted for a moment, observing them both before placing down the glass and Nuala’s gaze rose to meet him. “Her kind doesn’t sleep much,” the bartender then remarked with what appeared to be a hint of a smile on his lips. Almost simultaneously, Nuala’s expression darkened and the corners of her mouth dropped.

The image of a Lich flashed before her eyes and the woman took a careful look around the establishment, but there was nothing suspicious about it. Slowly reaching for the glass, Nuala eyed the bartender, who clearly knew more than he let on, and took a sip. The golden brown liquid burned in her throat and even though there was something distasteful about it, she felt a sense of satisfaction shortly afterwards. A few years had passed since Daeva Eye and its collection of devilish females had ruled the eastern parts of Fiore in its entirety and while new guilds popped up everywhere with disturbing frequency, it seemed that some hadn’t forgotten about the force that once was their matriarchy.

Since then, Nuala was only a shadow of her former self and almost all of her friends had disappeared, presumably for good. A truth the former Voidling found hard to accept and was still fighting against.

“I’m looking for something,” the purple haired responded to Jove, but didn’t turn to face him. Her eyes were still glued to the bartender, who was now pretentiously polishing some of his glasswares. “And someone, I guess. Lots of people move through this place, so I figured he,” she gestured towards the bartender, who shot her a glare, “..might know something.” Nuala’s search hadn’t been very fruitful thus far, but at the same time the thief hadn’t actively searched either. Other problems had arisen and she’d found herself occupied with taking care of herself first.

“Maybe the knight knows something,” the bartender then suggested and Nuala put her glass down. “Maybe he does,” she said softly and this time turned around to look at Jove. “He deals with criminals every day after all.” Nuala’s head whirled around and she growled at the bartender. “Look who’s talking.” To most people, the rumours of a Lich owning the Swineherd Pub was just that – a rumor – but Nuala knew it to be true and so did the bartender.

“Anyways,” the thief continued and crossed her legs. It appeared that just a few sips of the alcoholic beverage had made her quite talkative. “I’m looking for a female vampire lord, a man who wears a jawbone on the right side of his face and a swordsman with a legendary golden blade. Does that ring any bells?” Nuala wasn’t even considering the fact that Kenzo and Finn were long dead and that Kaiser had been locked into a coffin and thrown into the ocean. She wasn't ready for that truth yet.



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